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2010 Primary Election

Michigan State Senate, 12th District

July 28, 2010 - John Garfield, 60 (Republican)

Rochester Hills

Education: Highland Park High 1967, Univ. of Maryland 1973 communications

Occupation: Retired U.S. Army, former Electrical Engineer/Estimator

Government related experience: Michigan Agent Orange Commission 1991-1992, Oakland County Commissioner 1993- 2002, State Representative 2003-2008

1.) Best experienced, Qualified, candidate. I have more experience on all of the issues, than all other candidates combined. Twice as effective as anyone running. I was Chairman of Military, Veterans Affairs, and Homeland Security. Energy and Technology, Subcommittee Chairman of Technology. My committee wrote the Michigan Telecommunications Act of 2007.

2.) It's time to let the private sector do it. Eliminate the MBT Surcharge. Cut business taxes in half. Streamline licensing and permitting policies so projects can get underway without government red tape. Emulate the top 5 business friendly states.

3.) The state doesn't need tax increases. Or fee-- or fine increases. The state overspends based on "Projections", instead of "Actual Revenue" to cover expenses. Mortgage foreclosures, loss of income tax's from job losses, and income from sales are all down. It will take years of recovery. Cut spending.

4.) Consolidate school districts where we can. Privatize services, and purchasing efforts. Stop redistribution of the wealth to poorly managed districts. We continue to reward failure. Just look at Detroit's school system. Our kids shouldn't be shortchanged. Reform benefit, and retirement so employees match private sector contributions.

Lois Golden, 59 (Republican)

Rochester Hills

Education: Community College - no degree. Technical education related architectural design and graphic arts; Later ongoing education related to public service.

Occupation: Currently self-employed; Images by Golden - Web Design and consulting.

Government-related experience: Rochester Hills City Council 1998 - 2003; 100 million+ budget; Older Persons' Commission - 1998-2003 ; Paint Creek Trailways Commission; Public Safety Chair; Financial Services Board; Save Open Space Founding Member (Proposed as Council Member; Served on Volunteer Committee)

Administrative: Polly Ann Trailway Manager 2004-2006 Lake Orion Downtown Development Authority Executive Director - 2006 -2009; Oakland County Trails Advisory Council & Former Vice-Chair (as Trail Manager); Lake Orion Farmers' Market Founder (as Director and volunteer to present)

Citizen Volunteer/Government: Rochester Hills Historic Districts Commission Chair; Festival of the Hills Founding Member: Rochester Area Heritage Festival Board since 2001 - present. Rochester Hills Local Development Finance Authority - partnership with Oakland University Business Incubator 2003 - present

1) Though I respect my fellow candidates, very few have the experience to do the job. The learning curve for newcomers is long. I have the three components of experience needed to address serious budgetary concerns – governmental administrative, legislative and economic development experience and a demonstrated commitment to my community.

2) New revenue is the key to Michigan's fiscal health, not tax increases. I will use my economic development experience to duplicate prior successes with business attraction and retention. We must utilize business incubators like Oakland University's to support the development of new technologies during this time of Michigan's transition.

3) I DO NOT support tax increases or any additional taxes that will crush this economy further. We must put more money in the hands of the consumer to recover. This is based on my observations and experience administering a governmental budget. Priorities must be shifted to essential services and not frills.

4) Excellent education is essential and must be maintained. Many inequities exist despite the shift of funding from property tax revenue to sales tax revenue. I remain convinced we can prioritize and address problems without increases. I do not fault our unselfish teachers. Fifty words are not enough for this question.

Ted Golden, 67 (Democrat)

City of Rochester Hills

Education: Medical Degree, University of Michigan, 1968

Occupation: Dermatologist

Government-related experience: Served in U.S. Navy 1972-1974, Chief of Dermatology at Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune

1.) My goals in life were to help people by being a physician and then a politician. My political goal is to alleviate government abuse of the individual. The "Golden Legal Oversight Amendment" will create an independently elected board to police the legal system instead of attorneys policing themselves.

2) Opposite of the Republican proposals, I support very strong action by the executive branches of state and local government to actively pursue and retain businesses. This is what successful states are doing. As your Senator I will initiate and support legislation that will improve Michigan's business climate.

3) The first priority is to make spending cuts and then more spending cuts. Minimum levels of acceptable government provided services and state employee pay will have to be redefined to a lower level. Additional revenue maybe needed. I favor closing tax loop holes and a graduated state income tax.

4) School spending should be reduced further in order to decrease funding requirements. School districts wanting enhanced educational programs should be given options to raise additional revenue from within the district with voter approval. As a last resort state wide taxes will have to be increased to maintain basic educational programs.

Jim Marleau, 63, (Republican)

Lake Orion

Education: Certified Municipal Finance Administrator (CMFA), C.M.U.; Associates in Business Administration (ABA), University of Toledo.

Occupation: Mid-west Manufacturing Representative and Small Business Owner (Retired)

Government-related experience: Orion Township Treasurer (8 years), Republican State Representative (3 terms)

Family (spouse, children): Thea (wife), Jim Jr. (son), Cristina (daughter)

1.) I am running for the Michigan Senate because 29 of the 36 members are new due to term limits. Michigan needs the kind of experience I bring. As a business owner, township treasurer, and experience in the legislature...training wheels won't be necessary.

2.) Michigan can be a TOP-TEN destination for job-providers. First, over taxation and regulation must go. The 3 largest budgets are schools, prisons, and welfare health care. Quality schools attract jobs. Prison spending should be cut-like BOUCHARD has done locally-and welfare recipients should NOT have better healthcare than working families.

3.) Cut Spending--our current tax and spend policies do not work. Michigan is a beautiful place to live, but job-providers and families can't afford our great state. See what I believe we need to get Michigan working, read my 12 Steps: Cut Spending & Right Size Government at www.jimmarleau.com.

4). Proposal A reduced property taxes and assured most sales tax went to schools. But the tax system needs to match the new economy -- not by raising taxes, but by closing loopholes and making sure the burden is shared. Finally, public and private employee benefits need to be aligned.

Copper Rizzo, 25 (Republican)

Rochester Hills

Education: Graduate of Michigan State University

Occupation: Small Business Owner - The Avon Consulting Group

Government-related experience: Worked for State Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop's office.

1) To improve our business climate, reform how state government works and change the culture of Lansing where accepting a full time salary and benefits for part time work is acceptable.  One of my first bills will be to dock legislator pay for missed votes.

 2) Eliminate the MBT surcharge, cut the gross receipts tax in half, adopt new funding formulas that do not add to the structural budget deficit and embrace an economic development policy which focuses on supporting existing in-state businesses over attracting new business from outside the state.

3) Michigan has a state government that has a spending problem. Lansing refuses to do what families throughout our community have done and that is prioritize their expenditures. To find our path forward our overall tax structure must change but we must first reign in reckless government spending.

 4) I would aligning the school budget with the general fund, limit what school districts spend on administration to 28% of overall budgets, require schools to competitively bid contracts for non-instructional services and reduce per-pupil funding for school districts that fail to consolidate and share services.

Kim Russel, 51 (Republican)


Education: BS Northern Michigan University

Occupation: Small Manufacturing Business Owner

Government-related experience: Rochester City Council

1.) I want to commit my energy and conservative values to help make Michigan one of the easiest states in which to do business. I want to restore and retain jobs by reducing the cost of doing business and cutting red tape. I want to bring lean government to Lansing.

2.) Create a one-stop shop for business licensing and permitting, repeal the Michigan Business Tax 22% surcharge, and make Michigan a right-to-work state. Reduce barriers, taxes, and red tape. Evaluate Michigan Economic Development Corporation, MEGA grants to see if they produce the jobs they announce and the actual cost per job.

3.) We must reduce spending and the size of government. I want to align public health care benefit plans with the private sector, privatize prisons services, eliminate prisoner pay, and reduce welfare fraud to save 600 million dollars. We cannot increase or expand taxes in this economy to balance the budget.

4.) Align state and school district fiscal years to improve schools ability to accurately budget. Align employee benefits with private sector to stop overspending on benefits and start reinvesting in the classroom. The largest school funding problem is the shrinking economy. Reviving business, restoring jobs will fix our school funding problem.

Gene Taliercio, 42 (Republican)

Rochester Hills

Education: 4 yrs Ferris State

Occupation: Businessman/Sales/Taliercio Bros Wholesale Food Dist.

Government-related experience: NONE!! I'm a fresh face in Lansing!

Family (spouse, kids): 1 son

1.) After 20 years of successfully running my family business, I want to help bring Michigan out of the political and financial mess we are in (i.e., $60 Billion debt). I want to bring some common sense back to Lansing.

2.) Eliminate the MBT—stop penalizing businesses for being successful. Allow businesses to expand and grow and re-hire people. I want to target 5 industries for growth: manufacturing, agriculture, tourism, energy, technology. We also need to re-educate our people with the skills to fill these new positions.

3.) Establishing the Bank of Michigan, based on North Dakota's model. Through it we to utilize our tax revenue assets by putting them to work for us. Through the Bank we invest wisely, earn our own interest, pay our debts, build a surplus—not let Wall Street profit off our money. Which do you favor in order to deal with the states budget problems and why? We should streamline our budget and make cut-backs across the board. We've been spending more and more on poorer services for fewer people. We need to stop spending money we don't have. We're broke, and we need to roll up our sleeves and pull ourselves back on track.

4.) Re-district our schools, lower the cost of administration, and put more dollars into the classrooms. Make the schools more competitive and give more options. Stop rewarding for poor performance.

Casandra Ulbrich, 35 (Democrat)

Rochester Hills

Education: AA, St. Clair County Community College; BA, University of Michigan; MA, Wayne State University; PhD candidate (ABD), Wayne State University

Occupation: Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations, Wayne State University

Government-related experience: Member of the State Board of Education

1.) I am running because I can no longer watch as leadership is replaced by partisan bickering. As a member of the State Board of Education, I am part of a bi-partisan board that puts party aside for the best interest of our state, a philosophy I will take to Lansing.

2.) We should continue supporting entrepreneurship opportunities. We have among the best higher education institutions in the country. With 15 public universities, Michigan is in a unique position to capitalize on the cutting-edge research taking place. These innovations can be commercialized into companies that will hire highly skilled workers.

3.) Neither alone will solve our budget problems. Michigan needs to rethink the structure in which we operate. This includes re-prioritizing our spending, reforming state government to create efficiencies and evaluating corporate tax breaks to identify and eliminate waste.

4.) The State Board of Education recently engaged in a six-month process, which included public participation, to identify recommendations that will both enhance and support public education in the state of Michigan. The report, which includes a number of recommendations passed on to the legislature, can viewed at www.michigan.gov/sbe.

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